Babri Masjid Demolition Verdict

#GS2 #Judiciary #FamoursCases&Verdicts

 

All 32 accused in the Babri Masjid Demolition Case have been acquitted. CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, while pronouncing the verdict, stated that the demolition was not pre-planned. 

  • The judgement read that there is no evidence to prove that any of the 32 accused had anything to do with the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The 2000 page judgement has set free all accused in the 28-year-old Babri Masjid Demolition Case at a special CBI court in Lucknow. 
  • The key accused in the case included former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former union ministers Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. 

 

Babri Masjid Demolition Case Verdict: 

  • CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav read out the verdict in 28-year-old case in the Lucknow court room.
  • The CBI judge is scheduled to retire immediately after announcing the judgement. The Supreme Court had directed the special judge hearing the case in 2017 to pronounce its judgment in two years and if he retires in the middle, he will not relinquish his office but be given an extension. Hence, he has been on an extension on his position since over a year. 
  • Seventeen accused had passed away during the course of the trial including Bal Thackeray, Ashok Singhal, Mahant Avaidyanath, Vijayaraje Scindia  and Giriraj Kishore.
  • CBI judge SK Yadav had on earlier on September 16 directed all the 32 surviving accused to remain present in the court on the day of the judgment. However, the key accused, including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, attended the proceedings through video conference because of COVID-19 pandemic. The other 26 accused were present in the courtroom. Two of the key accused- Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh tested positive for COVID-19 recently. 
  • The accused were facing charges under IPC Sections including 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153 B and 505 (spreading false rumours) and section 147 for rioting. 

 

Babri Masjid Demolition Case

  • Accused- Two FIRs were filed in the Babri Masjid Demolition Case, first against lakhs of kar sevaks and second one against 49 people.  In total, 48 people faced charges against them in the case among whom 17 died during the course of the trial.

 

Who were the key accused?

  • The key accused in the Babri Masjid Demolition Case included senior veteran BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti. None of the them are members of Parliament anymore.
  • The Chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Ram Janmabhoomi trust member Ram Vilas Vedanti, Secretary of Ram temple trust Champat Rai, Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhaan and Mahant of Akhila Bharatiya Panch Ramanandi Nirmani Ani Akhara Dharam Das and Bajrang Dal founder Vinay Katiyar were also among the accused in the case.
  • Other accused included Sakshi Maharaj , RM Srivastava (then Faizabad DM), Sadhvi Rithambara, Brij Bhushan Singh, Pawan Kumar Pandey, Jal Bhagwan Goyal, Om Prakash Pandey, Lallu Singh, Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, Prakash Sharma, Ramji Gupta, Dharmendra Singh Gurjar and few kar sevaks could face maximum punishment of life in jail if convicted. 

 

Background

  • The Babri Masjid Demolition Case verdict comes less than a year after the Supreme Court in November 2019 ruled in favour of building a Ram Temple in the disputed site in Ayodhya.
  • Babri Masjid was a mosque in Ayodhya, built in 1528–29 (935 AH) by general Mir Baqi, on the orders of the first Mughal emperor Babur. 
  • The Masjid stood at a site believed by many Hindus to be the birthplace of Rama. The masjid was a focus of dispute between the Hindu and Muslim communities since the 18th century. According to Hindu claim, Mir Baqi had destroyed a pre-existing Ram temple at the site and built a mosque over it. 
  • In 1992, the mosque was attacked and demolished by a large group of Hindu Kar Sevaks, triggering large-scale communal violence across the nation.
  • The Allahabad High Court in September 2010 upheld the Hindu claim that the mosque was built on the spot believed to be Lord Ram's birthplace and ruled that the land be divided into three, out of which the site of the central dome was awarded for the construction of a Ram temple and the Muslims were also awarded one-third area of the site for the reconstruction of a mosque. 
  • All parties appealed against the decision and then the case was heard by a special five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court. In November 2019, the top court bench reversed the Allahabad judgement and awarded the entire dispute site to the Hindus for the construction of a grand Ram Temple and ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to provide alternative five acre to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for the purpose of building a Mosque. 
  • The state government has allotted a site in the village of Dhannipur, 18 km from Ayodhya and 30 km away from the original Babri Masjid site, for the construction of the Mosque.
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